Government has said it has earmarked Monkey Bay as the country’s strategic tourist destination because of its natural potential to attract tourists worldwide thereby generating the much needed foreign currency.
President Joyce Banda made the remarks on Thursday when she laid a foundation stone and unveiled a plaque for the construction of Monkey Bay Rural Growth Centre in Mangochi under the Local Enterprise Development through the Local Development Fund.
She said the growth centre was meant to the raise the status of the tourist attraction area so that its facilities were befitting those of other competing world class destinations to generate foreign currency for the country’s economic growth.
“My government has undertaken several development initiatives including the economic recovery plan which is a deliberate attempt to break the vicious cycle of underdevelopment and poverty. This growth centre is expected to raise the status of the area to the level of world class tourist attraction,” she added.
“Cape Maclear at Monkey Bay in Lake Malawi has the best diving spot and therefore adding to the potentiality of the tourism industry to drive the country’s economy,” she pointed out.
Banda said the tourism industry once fully fledged would create employment for the youth and subsequently generate wealth for the majority poor.
The President disclosed that government would upgrade Monkey Bay airstrip so that tourists could fly directly into the area.
She also said a boat yard would also be constructed so that the youth acquire vocational skills for assembling and repairing the same to effectively serve the majority of the fishing community.
Traditional Authority Nankumba expressed optimism that the growth centre would open up the area to a lot of economic opportunities, thereby improving socio- economic status of lives.
Nakumba thanked government for coming to people’s rescue when they were hit by floods early this year.
The growth centre which has been receiving financial support from the African Development Fund from 2009 to 2014 is also supporting similar projects at Malomo in Ntchisi, Chitekesa in Phalombe and Jenda in Mzimba.
Some of the landmark facilities to be constructed at the centre include a fish landing bay, bus depot, a stadium and rice milling factory among others.
The Local Enterprise Development under LDF is meant to spur economic activities in rural communities of the country by empowering people with various skills to engage in small and medium enterprises.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :